Elizabeth Taylor's Last Husband Larry Fortensky Opened Up About Their Marriage And The Generous Gift She Left Him In Her Will

Jan 11, 2022 by apost team

Elizabeth Taylor is a true Hollywood icon whose over six-decade-long career cemented her status in the film industry. Taylor was a well-versed actress, dedicated businesswoman and heartfelt humanitarian. She grew up quickly while working in the film industry, as much of her life was broadcast to the public eye. The stunning actress quickly found stardom due to her extreme perseverance and tenacity, as well as her unique and gorgeous looks.

Taylor passed away in 2011 and even after her death, she's continued to be an important name in the entertainment industry, and her legacy still inspires people to this day. 

Meanwhile, Taylor's extravagant lifestyle and personal life were well documented during her lifetime. She was known for her love of diamonds and luxury items, and she was married eight times with seven different men, including Richard Burton, who she famously married twice. 

Taylor was married to her last husband, Larry Fortensky, from 1991 to 1996, however, the couple remained friends after their divorce. In 2011, after Taylor passed, Fortensky opened up about the generous sum of money that the actress left him in her will and cleared the air about their relationship. Let's take a look at their story.

Taylor and Fortensky famously met while they were both at the Betty Ford Center, a  well-known rehab clinic, in 1988. Fortensky was there after he'd been arrested on a DUI charge and he told the Daily Mail in 2011, "Elizabeth was in there for pills, I was in there for beer." He admitted to knowing who she was but that he didn't remember if he'd seen any of her movies.

Elizabeth Taylor (circa 1953), (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Fortensky recalled the instant attraction that he and Taylor had with one another in the same Daily Mail interview:

"She was funny and sweet and the more I got to know her the sweeter she became. Of course she was very pretty and I wasn’t too bad-looking in those days either. We had an instant physical attraction."

Just a few years later the couple married in a lavish ceremony in 1991. The wedding took place at Neverland Ranch, Michael Jackson's home, and was reported to have cost between $1.5–2 million. The high-profile event was attended by a who's who of Hollywood A-listers including Liza Minnelli, Franco Zeffirelli, Eddie Murphy, George Hamilton, Merv Griffin, Macaulay Culkin and Nancy Reagan, among others. Meanwhile, paparazzi helicopters flew overhead. The couple gave the profits from selling their wedding photos to AIDS charities. 

It was reported that they had a prenuptial agreement in place in which Fortensky would receive $1 million with no further support if their marriage lasted five years. Their union wasn't to be and by 1996 — five years after they wed — Taylor and Fortensky split up. Following their divorce, Fortensky received the million-dollar payout.

But the media painted Fortensky as a gold digger of sorts, which is what led him to do the interview to dismiss the claims. He said:

"Enough is enough ... it is time for me to tell my story and the truth about Elizabeth and me and to stop these lies once and for all.

"This is nothing to do with money, I have been offered so much over the years. This is about wanting people to know the real story. I am sick and tired of the lies. I have wonderful memories of my time with Elizabeth and I will treasure her memory for ever."

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Elizabeth Taylor, Larry Fortensky (1990), (Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

One such memory was immortalized in a photograph from a trip the two took to Switzerland in 1992. Fortensky recalled the two were in bed when Taylor "sat up and said, 'I want to make a snow angel.'" So she put on her fur coat over her nightdress and went outside. Fortensky added:

"... she fell in the snow and started waving her arms around giggling like a little girl. That is my favourite picture. I keep it by my bed. That’s how I remember Elizabeth. She had a childishness about her. She was 20 years older than me but I never felt she was old."

In the same interview, he opened up about the many gifts the actress bought for him when they were married, including a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and a BMW car for his birthday. He added that he "couldn't keep up with Elizabeth, so (he) didn't try" when it came to gifts. He treated her to "chocolate-covered roses" and "a little baby rabbit that she loved."

Their relationship continued on as a friendship after they divorced and they were clearly on good terms since Taylor left Fortensky a reported $825,000 in her will, which he said "honoured" their friendship. He revealed that they spoke for hours on the telephone a few times a month after they divorced and in fact, the last time they spoke before she died was the day before she entered the hospital, a few days before she passed. He said:

"I was so shocked. I was so sure she would get to go home and I would talk to her once again."

He added:

"I love her, I always will. And I know she loved me, too."

In 2016, five years after Taylor's death, Fortensky passed away following complications during skin cancer surgery. 

Dame Elizabeth Taylor (2009), (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

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